Some of the most experienced tax litigators at the Bar are members of Devereux Chambers. We have a wealth of litigation experience across the fields of direct and indirect tax, contributions and duties, investigations, proceeds of crime and professional negligence. We have a detailed knowledge of, and feel for, the preparation and presentation of these difficult and sensitive cases and their evidential requirements. We are particularly familiar with advice and litigation about taxation of employees, service companies, agencies and employment businesses, entertainers and sports personalities, tax avoidance and evasion issues, capital allowances, statutory investigation powers and assessment procedures.
Our tax group includes three leading silks (Timothy Brennan QC, Jonathan Fisher QC and Ingrid Simler QC), each of them previously standing Counsel to the Inland Revenue, and a number of experienced juniors. Our silks have particular expertise in handling individual and corporate domicile and residence litigation, both for and against taxpayers, as well as in contentious cases where HMRC pursue taxpayers in respect of alleged tax avoidance or evasion.
Timothy Brennan QC has appeared in scores of reported cases, 14 in the House of Lords and Supreme Court, many at all the lower levels of appeal, as well as in Strasbourg. They cover a wide range of taxation topics, particularly in the fields of employment taxation, tax avoidance, corporate residence, statutory investigation powers and capital allowances. They include the Supreme Court appeal of Autoclenz Ltd v Belcher  UKSC 41,  ICR 1157 (employment status, 'sham' contracts); the ECHR case of Yukos v Russia  STC 1988 (tax fraud, Art 6, Art 1 Protocol 1), R (Prudential plc) v Special Commissioner  EWCA Civ 1094,  STC 2802 (statutory investigations; legal professional privilege) and HM Revenue & Customs v Smallwood  EWCA Civ 778,  STC 2045 (tax avoidance through double tax treaties).
Jonathan Fisher QC is a widely recognized tax practitioner. He was involved in R (on the application of Lunn) v Revenue and Customs Commissioners  EWHC 240 (Admin);  S.T.C. 1028 in the Administrative Court; the case successfully challenged HMRC’s failure to act fairly and to give reasons when terminating the status of authorised tax agent. He is a Chartered Tax Adviser, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Taxation, an accredited Trusts and Estates Practitioner and an Editorial Board Member of Simon’s Taxes. He is particularly known for his work in contentious tax cases (civil and criminal), investigations and disclosure cases where avoidance or evasion issues are involved.
Ingrid Simler QC has been involved in many of the individual domicile and residence cases taken on behalf of HMRC over the last decade. She recently appeared for HMRC (with Akash Nawbatt and Christopher Stone) in the Supreme Court in the landmark case about HMRC’s published guidance, IR20: R (Davies and James); R( Gaines-Cooper) v HMRC  UKSC 47.
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